Super Fly Honey Tutorials | Pole Diaries

Hello my lovely pole dancers! Ten weeks ago I partnered with Super Fly Honey to create 10 tutorial videos for you. As crazy as it sounds, I chose TEN moves that I’ve always wanted to learn (aka. moves I haven’t even mastered) and practised them every week to make these tutorials.

It’s been a busy 10 weeks for me as you know my style of teaching is a little different than most online instructors where I share the trial and errors of the moves. There are times I wondered why I chose moves I can’t even do yet, and thought… “Hmm… maybe I should just teach a move I’m good at already”. I stuck through it despite a shoulder injury, technical difficulties (all my raw videos were deleted by accident!😭), and challenged myself to keep making better tutorials for you!

While we called it the #SuperFlyHoneyChallenge on our Instagram (PoleAsana | SuperFlyHoney) and Facebook (PoleAsana | SuperFlyHoneypages, it was truly a challenge for myself. 

I am so grateful for this opportunity to work with Sheena from SuperFlyHoney. It was really a dream come true for me when we began this partnership since I’ve always adored this brand since her very first collection. She’s an amazing woman to work with, a social media whiz, and a new friend with whom I can have a heartfelt conversation.

I also want to thank everyone that have been so supportive of me! I can never stress enough how much your comments, likes and shares on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook mean to me. Your DM’s remind me why it’s important to publish these embarrassing fail videos in an online world of perfection.

Sorry for the long post and sappy message. I just wanted to share how much I love you all!

Here are the 10 tutorials all in one post! Don’t forget to bookmark it 🙂

SneakyDeez Wrist Support | Product Review

SneakyDeez, the wrist support for pole dancers. Available in many styles!

Lately I’ve seen a lot of pole dancers wear wrist supports when they are on training on the pole. And of course, myself as a pole dancer on Instagram, I spent a whole 2 seconds of detective work and found out they’re #sneakydeez. Ok. They’re what?!

Sneaky Deez is such a catchy and funky name but I wasn’t entirely sure who/what they are. Their own Instagram page features a lot of user photos and I simply love brands that engage with their fans and repost customer photos! In these photos, everyone is sporting a colourful and fun-coloured wrist bands and I wanted to a pair too!

SneakyDeez come in a lot of fun colours and bold patterns. Their photos are just so vibrant and full of character!

What is SneakyDeez?

SneakyDeez are wrist wraps designed for gymnasts, yogis and pole dancers to help minimize sore wrists while training. They’re great for any activities that may put strain on the wrists such as pole fitness, handstands, push ups, strengthening exercises and arm balances.

Masha Pinner is the brilliant designer behind these wrist supports. They’re designed, produced and handmade in Slovenia, EU. I love supporting small businesses and especially those that are eco-friendly too! All their products are made using Lycra and Polyester Jersey samples from big fashion retailers, reducing the amount of fabrics heading towards landfills. As a result of using sample fabrics, most of her designs are limited edition and literally one-of-a-kind!

They come in three sizes (S, M, L) for different wrist sizes, and also different widths (6cm or 8cm) for varying support. Prices are $22 for regular colours and $25 for limited editions. The patterns and colours changes often as they sell out and restock, click here to check out what’s available now!

I chose the Black Paisley (Limited Edition) SneakyDeez because I wanted something subtle but still beautiful.
I think they suit my personality and style quite well!

My wrists are fine… Why do I need wrist support?

At first I wasn’t sure how SneakyDeez wrist supports would complement my training. My wrists have generally been pretty good to me despite all the abuse I put them through. Yes, I love practising handstands, arm balances and pole moves where my wrists would have every right to hate me for! But I normally take sufficient breaks to give them time to recover.

Prior to receiving my SneakyDeez for this review, I actually used my wrist band from badminton when I practice spins on my static pole. I wasn’t using the wrist band as support (even a brand new XS was too loose on my tiny wrists), so it was primarily to prevent wrist burns from the reverse grab.

Since my wrists never gave me problem, wrist supports were not really on my wish list this Christmas… Yet.

 

Upon receiving my SneakyDeez, I wore them for an hour and did my normal training routine. Oddly enough, I didn’t notice any difference and I felt slightly disappointed. Then the next day I felt SO sore everywhere… what is going on?!?!

Before training with SneakyDeez, I would take a break whenever I begin to feel sore in my wrists, Because my wrists were likely the limiting factor, I don’t usually push the rest of my body to train as hard. However, with the wrist support, my endurance and tolerance for wrist soreness was a lot higher! In fact, I became really sore in other parts of my body instead because I was able to train much longer. I can only say I’m really impressed with them!

For me, I personally have been blessed with healthy wrists but already saw immediate benefits of using wrist supports. I could only imagine what a god sent gift SneakyDeez would be to someone that is currently suffering from sore wrists!

Preparation for chest press, handstand variation. This feels so scary!

What I love about SneakyDeez 💜

  1. The pole community is pretty small so I love supporting small businesses, eco-friendly brands and designers that are passionate about making a difference for fellow pole dancers.
  2. They come in different sizes, and the velcro closure allows you to make sure the wrist supports fit you perfectly.
  3. Loud bright colours? Subtle sophisticated colours? Whatever your style is, there is bound to be something for you!
Slightly jealous of the opportunities to pole outdoors… why is it always so cold where I live?

What are you waiting for? If you haven’t checked out their page yet, please do and make sure to tag #sneakydeez to be featured on their page!
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Masha from Sneaky-Deez has kindly sent me a pair of her limited edition wrist supports for this review. The links included in this post are affiliate links and help support this blog 🙂 

Rose Gold and Unicorn Heels by Ellie Shoes | Unboxing and Product Review

Unboxing video of my first pole heels! Rose Gold Chrome and Unicorn Heels from Ellie shoes 😍😍

Why I never poled in heels…

I started pole dancing in 2011, which makes it almost seven years! Friends have casually asked me, ‘Oh, you must be really good at walking in those super high heels right?’. No, I actually can’t even walk in normal heels.

I’ve seen girls at studios with 7 inch heels or higher and they seriously looked so elegant in them. I knew being able to invert with straight legs while there’s extra weight on your ankles is no easy feat either. Now the question is, will I look like those girls? Or would I look like bambi?

I wasn’t going to take any chances. Nope.

What changed my mind about pole heels?

One word: Instagram.

When you follow a ton of pole dancers and your feed is graced with elegant spins and combos showing off beautifully coloured pole heels, you want some too! I’ve seen sparkly glitter heels, light up heels, glow-in-the-dark heels, ombre heels… the list goes on.

Now choosing a pair was the hard part!

Ellie Shoes just released two versions of these rose gold chrome ✨✨ heels and they are absolutely gorgeous! Then they also had these super duper cute unicorn 🦄🦄 heels. Then I thought, “Well, even if I can’t wear them, at least I can stare at them?”

709-BRIA Rose Gold Chrome in Clear & 777-DASHING Unicorn Heels in Clear
Ellie Shoes

First Impression

Quality (5/5)

Upon unboxing the shoes, I noticed both pairs of heels are very well-made! The plastic used in the heels were sturdy and high quality. The padding on the shoes were comfortable and slightly grippy to prevent your feet from sliding forward too much, which is so important when wearing heels! The plastic straps were a little harder than expected but I believe they do soften over time with wear.

709-BRIA Rose Gold Chrome by Ellie Shoes

Style (5/5)

I’m definitely biased here! I got them mainly for how they looked, so of course I’m in love with them!

The rose gold chrome is super shiny and I can’t stop admiring the beautiful shade. Because of the chrome finish, the platforms are a huge fingerprint magnet. It’s not noticeable but I did have to wipe them clean for the pictures.

The unicorn heels look really cute and I feel like a fairy/princess when I wear them. The clear heels don’t really show up in my videos (they’re clear, obviously!), but you do see this unicorn horn which looks funny/cool at the same time. If I ever feel creative, I think I can also cover the clear parts with glitter!

777-DASHING Unicorn Heels in Clear by Ellie Shoes

Fit (4/5)

I’ve never ordered from Ellie Shoes before and I didn’t know any shops/studios that carried them so I did a bit of research on sizing. A lot of people have recommended to size up from their regular shoe size because Ellie Shoes do fit tight and narrow. They also only carry whole sizes.

I normally wear a size 7, sometimes 7.5 to accommodate for my slightly wider feet. I’ve never had to size up to an 8 before so was slightly hesitant. But chances are, it’s better to have slightly bigger shoes than shoes you can’t even wear right? I also chose the clear straps because they are more flexible than the patent coloured straps, so they can fit better over time.

709-BRIA Rose Gold Chrome by Ellie Shoes

Luckily, the 709-BRIA fit perfectly! The clear straps at the front are a little hard and tight to fit in at first. With PVC plastic, they can be warmed up with a hair dryer to fit better on the feet.

Unfortunately, the 777-DASHING did not fit as well. It was a bit bigger than the 709-BRIA (I ordered both in size 8). The front straps were more comfortable and looser, but the front tip of the shoe extended much beyond my toes did. So, for the 777-DASHING, I would recommend ordering your true size.

Overall Impression (4.5/5)

Walking and poling in these high heels weren’t as bad as I would have thought! I practiced walking around the pole and used the pole for support if I needed it, but turns out I was OK! Like wearing any new shoes, my feet did hurt slightly after walking around the house for an hour in them. I also noticed my calves ached a little too which meant I was working those muscles out! Yes!

I absolutely love them and these beauties are sitting on my shelf like a piece of art work right now!

777-DASHING Unicorn Heels in Clear by Ellie Shoes

Special Thank You to Ellie Shoes!

Thank you for designing such beautiful heels! They were definitely love at first sight and I just knew I wanted these ones for my first pole heels. The heels in this review and the videos are graciously gifted by Ellie Shoes, so please visit their website to view all the other beautiful designs, then follow their Instagram and their Facebook for daily doses of heels inspiration. 😍😍

MPG Sport x Julianne Hough Fall 2017 | Product Review

Fall in love with the beautiful MPG sport fall collection this season. What’s your obsession?

Fall is debatably one of my favourite seasons! As the weather starts to get a little cooler, I love being able to add layers to my wardrobe and choose richer colour palettes. I’m usually a very bubbly person but bright summer colours just don’t really match me. My favourite colour is this deliciously dark purple burgundy, and luckily it comes back every fall! I was super excited when MPG Sport released their fall collection, with gorgeous purple pieces like the Ion Mesh V-Neck Bra and the Carmin Mesh Panel Bra.

Sports bra in raisin
L: Ion Mesh V-Neck Bra; R: Carmin Mesh Panel Bra

Being a yoga instructor, I basically live in my leggings (I don’t even own a pair of jeans, if there’s a super stretchy pair of jeans out there, please recommend me one!). I was in search for a pair of capris with subtle designs and I think MPG had just the one! The Audition Capri comes in a denim-like pattern (maybe this can be my jean alternative?), and the Audition 2.0 Capri comes in raisin and black.

Mesh panel capri
L: Audition in denim; M/R: Audition 2.0 in raisin/black

As much as I love purple, getting both top and bottom pieces in the purple would be a little too much. Thankfully, the stylists at MPG Sport sent me a well coordinated outfit for this review.

Thank you MPG for the handwritten note!

Receiving my first MPG Messenger package was seriously like Christmas. I actually didn’t know what outfit was selected for me and I just prayed for something purple. When I opened the package, there was this lovely handwritten note from MPG, and I jumped for joy when I saw the Ion Mesh V-Neck Bra in raisin and Audition 2.0 Capri in black. I got something purple!

I quickly tried on my garments and I fell in love.

The Ion Mesh V-Neck Bra is a very trendy high-neck piece with a deep-V mesh insert for both style and functionality – it’s great for ventilation and breathability. It provides excellent coverage; there’s really no way anything could fall out regardless of what poses you do (check out my ‘tetris block pose’ in the photo above). The sports bra comes with removable cups for light support, so it’s perfect for yoga and looking super chic while hiking.

I was actually a little worried about how this piece would fit on me. I have a relatively petite frame but also have super broad shoulders, weird right? I’ve always been told to avoid high neck cutting since it accentuates the shoulders, and I would prefer less coverage under the bust to elongate my torso. This piece is probably one of those pieces I thought would only look nice on models, mannequins, and everyone else except me – it’s high neck, and the length is more like a crop top. After I tried it on, I stood in front of the mirror and admired how beautiful the top looked on me! I actually felt glamourous and sexy in this top, and these two words never appeared in my dictionary before. It was the perfect top to use in my yoga photoshoot!

Photo by Alex Schotzki (IG: @schotzkis)

The Audition 2.0 Capri was also a lust-worthy piece, featuring super light weight and quick drying fabric in a flattering fit. The high waist design and gentle compression helps hold your tummy and everything else in place so you can focus on your breathing and asana. The most attractive detail in these capris are the mesh panels and transparent seams at the bottom that adds a unique focal point. While being a gentle compression pair of capri, they did leave a very slight, albeit very cool mesh pattern on my leg after taking them off. So just a heads up for those who plan to take a run in the capris before changing into a cocktail dress, unless of course you want cool patterned legs for the party! The quality of the fabric, seams and design are the fine details MPG really nails and I really don’t think photos do them the justice they deserve!

Photos by Alex Schotzki (IG: @schotzkis)

Even though I previously said I lived in leggings, I usually pair it with a decent top so I don’t look like I just stepped out of yoga class. With this outfit, I felt very well put-together and chic. I wore this outfit to meet with friends a few times and got some beautiful stop-drop-and-yoga shots! Pair this ensemble with an over-sized cardigan and I look street-ready again.

If you aren’t following me on Instagram, please do! @poleasana

If this post isn’t convincing enough to say how much I love the top, just take a look at this magical shot taken with the Ion Mesh V-Neck Bra and a tulle skirt!

 

Photo by barepixel (IG: @barepixel)

What’s your thing to fall in love with this fall?

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Thank you so much for MPG for providing the outfit in this review! The opinions I shared in this post is in no way influenced by the sponsorship and my affiliation with MPG Sport. 

7 Modified Yoga Poses with a Yoga Wheel

 


The yoga wheel is such a great yoga prop to deepen your favourite yoga poses and try newer challenging poses! I especially love the yoga wheel for backbends <3

If you’ve been following any yoga related tags on Instagram (don’t forget to follow me!), you will likely have seen these curious circular props. Touted as one of the newest, revolutionary yoga props, I certainly wanted my very own Yoga Wheel! Unfortunately when they first became available, the only manufacturers were in the USA and sold for around 70USD. Couple the weak Canadian dollar with costly shipping, tax and duty, this would have been a very expensive prop once it reaches your Canadian doorstep.

Fast forward to Fall 2016, Canadian companies are starting to manufacture the yoga wheels as well, meaning lower shipping costs, no duty fees and exchange rates! Two weeks ago, YogDev reached out to me and asked if I would like to review their yoga wheel and I agreed without hesitation! YogDev is a Canadian company based out of Vancouver, BC. They currently have 4 beautiful colour combinations for their yoga wheels and are open to new product colour suggestions! From my research, YogDev offers the lowest price on the yoga wheel, so if you’re interested, please visit their website here.

 

White/grey YogDev Yoga Wheel

The specs for the yoga wheel can be found on their website:

  • Designed for Dharma wheel poses
  • 12″ diameter, 5″ thick
  • 6 mm of padding for extra comfort
  • 300 lbs weight capacity
  • Lightweight
  • Portable

I chose the white/grey combination and I love it! Shipping was really quick and I received it within 2-3 days. The wheel is a very simple prop but super versatile! The YogDev yoga wheel is a very high-quality product; the plastic part felt very solid,  edges are polished to a smooth touch,  and the padding was cushiony soft with an intricate grip pattern. I tried standing on it (it’s actually a lot harder to balance than I thought!) and the wheel felt solid supporting my weight. One other thing I did notice was the YogDev yoga wheel is really light; there was another yoga wheel brand at a yoga studio I visited and I was shocked at how heavy that one was. I also love the ‘instruction manual’ included to start you off on some yoga poses with your new wheel.

Close up of YogDev Yoga Wheel

I played around with the yoga wheel for two weeks before writing this review. Some words of caution:

  • Do be careful with the new prop. It’s a wheel and it’s designed to move, not something we’re used to in yoga if we’ve always used blocks.
  • Practice with a wall/spotter close by to help with balance.
  • The wheel can tip over on the side so be careful not to squish your fingers and toes when it tips over.
  • Use your best judgement! Try easier moves and slowly work your way up to the more challenging poses 🙂
It took a few days for me to get used to the yoga wheel and explore other poses. Below I’ll share 7 of my favourite poses, enjoy!
Pigeon Pose with Yoga Wheel

1. Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana)

I’ve struggled with this pose since forever. To get into the pigeon pose, you start on your knees at hip distance apart. Supporting your back with your arms, slowly bend backwards into the camel pose. When you’re able to touch the mat with your fingers, walk your hands toward your toes. Bend your elbows and your forearm should be on the mat to support your weight.
The picture on the left shows my progress on the pigeon. As you can see, I’m still working on walking my hands back towards my toes. I always have this fear that my arms will collapse and I hurt my neck.
The yoga wheel is an EXCELLENT tool to assist the pigeon pose. You begin by placing the wheel between your calves in kneeling position then enter the pose in the same manner. Since the wheel is supporting your back as you bend backwards, you won’t need to worry about breaking your neck! Once your elbows reach the mat, grab the wheel and slowly inch your fingers closer to your toes. With the yoga wheel, this pose feels very comfortable!
Low Lunge with Yoga Wheel

2. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

Low lunges are great for waking up the hips. This pose is great for warming up for the splits but sometimes I feel it’s just not quite enough.
On the top photo, this is what my low lunges normally look like to give me a bit of a stretch in the hip. I was playing around with the wheel and found propping the front leg up while lunging is great to deepen the hip stretches. In the lower photo, it does take some balance to stay upright so I wasn’t able to add in the backbend. I rotated the opposite way to ensure my hips are squared. A variation of this pose would be to use the yoga wheel to practice the oversplits with if you extend the front leg and lock the wheel with the nook of your ankle.
Mermaid Pose with Yoga Wheel

3. Mermaid Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana variation)

The mermaid pose is such a beautiful and graceful pose! On the left is the mermaid pose which is a great pose for a full body stretch! On the right is the same pose on the yoga wheel.

If you’re feeling super comfortable in the mermaid pose, add the yoga wheel to make it a bit more challenging! Be mindful to take your time to get into and out of the pose. As you can see, you will be balancing with only one foot on the ground and the other thigh balancing on the wheel. This pose takes practice to figure out where the yoga wheel should contact your thigh.
Chest Stand with Yoga Wheel

4. Chest Stand

The chest stand, like the pigeon pose, was one of the poses I was never able to do before! If you have a moment to watch the YouTube video, you can see my futile attempts to kick into the chest stand. I’ve looked at other videos to suggest rolling onto your chest from a kneel. None of these work and I was never a fan of using momentum to get into poses.
On the left, I’ve screenshotted my embarrassing fail kick to chest stand. On the right, I discovered my back is more flexible than I thought and capable of doing chest stands!
To get into the chest stand with the yoga wheel, start by kneeling with knees at hip distance apart. Place the yoga wheel between your thighs and bend at your hips. The wheel should be wedged between your tummy and your thighs. Gently lower your upper body down with arms in chataranga position. Once your chin touches the mat, re-position your arms towards the wheel and grab the farther side of the wheel. Lift your legs off the mat and with control, bend backwards. Make sure to do this slowly  and keep your balance! If needed, use your hands to bring the wheel closer to your belly deepen the back bend. To safely exit the pose, engage your core to unbend your back and come back onto the yoga wheel. Remember to counter stretch with a child’s pose!
Child’s Pose with Yoga Wheel

5. Child’s Pose (Bālāsana)

The Yoga Wheel is also great for very simple poses like the corpse pose and child’s pose. While a regular child’s pose is a get resting pose, using the wheel adds a gentle stretch for the shoulders.
Forearm Stand with Yoga Wheel

6. Forearm Stand (Pincha Mayurasana)

From the photos it doesn’t look like the yoga wheel played that much of a role in the forearm stand. But in this particular pose, the wheel gave me the confidence I needed to reach back into a forearm wheel pose from a forearm balance.

In the top photo, I was able to come up into a forearm balance but I was very hesitant to drop my back leg to touch the mat. The fear of toppling over, and landing on my back plagued me!

With the yoga wheel, I had something to hold onto with my hands to keep them in place. If at any point I was worried about the how far the ground was, I can always tap the wheel with my foot to give me the reassurance. Lastly, the wheel is there to help me exit the pose once I do land. I absolutely love how the Yoga Wheel literally has ‘got my back‘.

Wheel Pose with Yoga Wheel

7. Wheel Pose (Chakrāsana)

I’ve practiced the wheel pose for a few years and I’m proud to say I’m able to do this very comfortably. I do notice entry into the wheel pose was so much easier with the yoga wheel propping up your back! I think this is a great tool for those who are still learning to get their wheel pose. With the yoga wheel, your body is already half way up, your arms, legs and back only need a little bit more effort to push into this beautiful backbend.

For me, the yoga wheel was a fun prop to explore other wheel pose variations. Finding my balance, I lifted one foot and used the wheel to guide my foot to touch my head. This adds a new stretch to an all time favourite yoga pose!

Summary

The yoga wheel is a great yoga prop for beginners and more experienced yogis and yoginis. There are so many restorative yoga poses that can be enhanced by the yoga wheel. It’s great for deepening stretches as well as challenging yourself by incorporating a balancing component to a pose you’re already comfortable with. What I love most about the YogDev’s yoga wheel is the quality: it’s lightweight, strong, and its beautiful colours.
Let me know if you have a yoga wheel and what your favourite pose is! I’d love to try some new poses as well 😀

 

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Thank you so much to YogDev for the yoga wheel! 
The awesome yoga wheel used and reviewed in this blog post is provided by YogDev. 

iTac2 StickIT Pole Grip and Cleaner Review | Product Review

iTac2 StickIT Pole Fitness Sports Grip Combo
Amazing pole grip in a genius glue-stick inspired dispenser!

I recently reviewed the iTac 2 grip that I purchased many years ago (read review here). At the time of writing that review, I was aware the product was repackaged and the formulas have been improved from user feedback. I reached out to the CEO of iTac2 to ask for samples of the newer products for review and received the iTac2 StickIT Pole Fitness Sports Grip Combo. The combo is available on their website includes the StickIT in regular and extra strength, the pole cleaner solution and microfiber cloth and retails for 40AUD+21AUD shipping (approximately 29USD+16USD shipping).
If you’re interested in this combo, keep reading for a giveaway contest at the end!

StickIT Regular and Extra Strength

iTac2 StickIT in Regular and Extra Strength

Packaging

Let’s start off by talking about the gorgeous repacking of the product! The products are wrapped in a beautiful holographic sticker in metallic pink and purple. While the difference between the regular strength and extra strength is hard to tell at first, you will notice the one with the pink on top is the regular, and the purple on top is the extra strength.
It’s hard to talk about how great the StickIT is without comparing it to the jars, so let me explain! The previous iTac2 (45g) I purchased was housed in a plastic jar with a narrow mouth. While the grip itself was great, the tub was not the most user-friendly; the product was hard to scoop out and would often get stuck under my fingernails. The jars in 20g and 45g are now modified, featuring a wider mouth to scoop out the product.
With the StickIT, this eliminates scooping the product out with your fingernails. The product was probably inspired by the ease of use of deodorants, chapsticks or glue sticks. Think tube of product with plastic twisting mechanism at the bottom. Simply genius.
Close-up of the iTac2 StickIT

How to Use

To use the product, you simply remove the cap, twist the product up and apply the product where needed (hands, inner elbows, back of knees, thighs, feet, etc). I would however caution to twist only a small amount up at a time since beeswax is rather soft and the stick might break if it’s twisted up too much. When you’re done, twist the product back and recap. Rub palms together or against parts where the product was applied. The heat generated helps distribute the product evenly. Wait a few minutes and then pole!

Touch and Feel

One word came to mind after I used the StickIT and it’s clean. I’m not sure if the formula is different than the old iTac2 I had, but this one gave me the grip I needed on the pole but did not leave a sticky feeling on my hands after. With the old iTac2, I found myself spending copious amount of time scrubbing the grip off my hands AND the pole. With the StickIT, it may be a combination of improved formula and the way it was dispensed since it was easy to control how much I applied on my hands.

I decided to tackle the Janeiro for the first time once applying this grip. To my surprise, I felt completely at ease and comfortable in the pose, no slipping, no fear of falling onto my face. I got my Janeiro! *victory dance* After a long pole session with the StickIT, my chrome pole was super sticky. I made the mistake of trying to spin on the static pole and it made a loud resonating noise enough to scare my neighbour’s dog. I actually smiled because I’ve never had a grippy pole before! Contrary to my initial belief, the grip wiped off easily with my regular pole cleaner (Windex) without any struggle.

The iTac2 fits perfectly in the palm of your hand!

Ingredients

I wasn’t able to find an ingredients list for the product, but was able to find this description on what the iTac2 is made of:

iTac2 is a mixture of organic beeswax and high grade plant based esters. iTac2 is made low allergenic and balanced pH. iTac2 has a coffee and vanilla aroma fragrance. We blend this together with a little love and produced a good reliable sports grip named iTac2.

The products are made in Australia using all natural and organic ingredients from clean Australian forests. Great to know the ingredients coming in contact with our skin is as natural as possible 🙂

Should I Use Regular or Extra Strength?

I generally have pretty dry skin and occasionally find my hands and feet can get a little sweaty/oily for some moves. The regular strength has been more than enough for all my pole needs. One application would last me throughout the whole session, with plenty left over on the pole for next time if I’m lazy to clean it off. I’ve also tried the regular strength on inner elbows, thighs and back of the knees and they work extremely well!
Some of my students have complained about very sweaty or oily hands. When they tried the regular strength, they said it helped a little but they found it rubbed off fairly easy for them. With the extra strength, they felt much more confident with their lifts and inversions.
The iTac2 Pole Cleaner can be used to clean any metal surfaces

Pole Cleaner

The new and improved iTac2 grip formula was very easy to clean off the pole with my existing microfiber cloth and trusty bottle of Windex. While Windex works very well, I do find the ammonia can leave a residual smell overtime (yes, sometimes it could smell like pee). Gross, but usually a quick wipe down with soap and warm water solves the problem. Despite the occasional offensive smell, it still remains a very cost-effective way of cleaning the pole.

Packaging

The packaging label is consistent with the rest of the iTac 2 Pole Grip product line, featuring the attractive pink-purple gradient and clean typefaces. The solution is housed in an amber plastic bottle with a spray nozzle. A super soft pink microfiber cloth is also included with the cleaner.

Ingredients

Looking for a less stinky alternative? iTac2 has a solution (ha, get it? *wink*)! The ingredients list contains two items: non-regulated hydrocarbon and Native Australian lemon myrtle essential oil. I’m not exactly sure what the first ingredient is as it sounds very vague and I do wish to get some reassurance that this is safe to use. On a positive note, the lemon myrtle oil has anti-bacterial properties and smells really refreshing!

Value

iTac 2’s Pole Cleaner comes in 125ml(12AUD) and 250ml (22.50AUD) bottles. The website claims the smaller bottle can be used over 400 times so it’s quite economical!

Summary

The StickIT hand grips are such great products! The new packaging is beautiful and functional. I love the deodorant/glue stick-inspired dispenser since it effectively helps control how much product is applied and prevents waste/over use. The products can be quite pricey especially with international shipping for relatively little product. However, looks can be deceiving since you only need to use so little and each tube can last up to 40 applications!
If you’re interested in the products, I would highly suggest getting a few interested friends to share the cost of shipping. The iTac2 StickIT grip formulas are perfect for beginners and more advanced pole dancers. I promise you will not be disappointed!

Official iTac2 Giveaway Contest

iTac2 is currently offering TWO sets of the  iTac2 StickIT Pole Fitness Sports Grip Combo reviewed in this post! Simply follow @iTac2, repost the image and tag @iTac2 and #iTac2 for your chance to win! Contest ends November 14th, good luck!

 

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The iTac2 StickIT Pole Fitness Sports Grip Combo was graciously provided by iTac2 for this review.

iTac 2 Level 2 Grip Review | Product Review

iTac2 Level 2 (regular strength) Pole Grip Review
iTac2 Level 2 (regular strength) Pole Grip Review

I purchased the iTac 2 Level 2 Grip 5 years ago when I first embarked on my pole dancing journey. Aren’t you curious why I still have it to date?


I debated for a long time if it’s still worthwhile to do a product review on such an old product. I did some quick research and found the formula is still the same even though the product has already gone through many renditions of re-packaging and re-labelling.

iTac2 Level 2 (regular strength) Pole Grip Review
Directions for use. Old formula suggested to wait 30-60s, now it recommends 1-2 minutes.

Here is the information found on the iTac2 website:

iTac2 Pole Dancing Grip works like an invisible glove turning every square inch of your hands into a gripping surface. iTac2 will improve control and conserve energy.

iTac2 contains organic beeswax and provides a water repellent surface. iTac2 is a low allergy formula that’s easy to apply and long lasting. It will not leave any white residue on your hands and as an organic product it is also very soft on your skin yet provides a very strong and reliable grip. Each 1.6 ounce (45g) tub will provide 50 – 60 applications.

Directions: Take a very small amount of iTac2 on to your finger and rub on to your hands and or body, wait one minute to two minutes for itac2 to activate, so do not keep rubbing your hands together to dry be patient. Best to apply itac2 a couple of minutes prior to starting of an event, you are now ready good luck.

Take a very small amount of iTac2 on to your finger and rub on to your hands and or body, wait one minute to two minutes for itac2 to activate, so do not keep rubbing your hands together to dry be patient.
 Best to apply itac2 a couple of minutes prior to starting of an event, you are now ready good luck.

– See more at: http://itac2.com/pages/what-is-itac2#sthash.4sNO9qYv.dpuf

iTac2 Level 2 (regular strength) Pole Grip Review
Caution label on iTac2

Pole Fitness

As a product that was marketed towards pole dancers, I was disappointed it didn’t do all the amazing things it claimed!

I used to have a 45mm titanium gold x-pole at home and it never worked for me. I followed the instructions every time, varying the amount I use each time and allowing it to dry longer in between and still had no luck. The grip left a nasty mess on the pole that was incredibly hard to clean up*. Personally, I found the grip made my hands more slippery by introducing a new film between my skin and the pole. It pilled and left residual balls that acted more like ball bearings to hasten my slips down the pole. I also tried the grip on my thighs and calves and that didn’t work as well.

Now I’ve switched over to a 45mm chrome which felt a lot more slippery than the titanium gold finish. However, I still practiced for months without using any grip and eventually regained my strength. I’ve been learning the Ayesha (see blog post here) and noticed I wasn’t able to master the move because I was scared my hand would slip off (and it did!). I applied a thin layer on my hands and tried the move again. I was able to miraculously hold the pose for more than 5 seconds and felt completely stable! While the grip was again very hard to clean off, I’m happy to finally say it works!

From experience, the iTac2 works great on chrome finishes, but not so much the titanium gold.

iTac2 Level 2 (regular strength) Pole Grip Review
Tub is rather small but lasted me quite a while!

I absolutely hate cleaning this stuff off my pole. As if practice wasn’t enough of a work out, keeping the pole shiny after definitely requires some crazy elbow grease. To clean the grip off my pole, I spray some Windex onto a microfiber cloth and wipe the pole from side to side rather than up and down.

Aerial Arts (silks, hoop, trapeze, straps)

So the grip didn’t seem to work very well on certain poles, but it worked really great on cloth-like surfaces such as all the apparatuses in aerial arts! I first tried this on the silks and it worked like a dream! With one-hour long classes, I would only need to apply and re-apply the grip 2-3 times while doing climbs and tricks on the silk. The grip did leave a sticky residue on the silks on the first and second grabs, but stayed sticky without residue after that.

The grip also works really well on cloth-taped apparatuses like the hoop (lyra), trapeze and straps. I wasn’t particularly slipping on these apparatuses because the tape was really helpful, but I do feel a lot more confident with the grip knowing I won’t slide off. There were times when the grip was so sticky that I had to peel my hands away from the apparatus. Keep in mind though, with parts of the hoop and trapeze that are not taped, you will experience the same problem as with the pole.

iTac2 Level 2 (regular strength) Pole Grip Review
Still many applications left in the tub

Conclusion

The iTac2 was marketed for pole dancers but I found it only worked for the chrome finish, and not the titanium gold. However, for any other porous surfaces such as silks, or taped circus apparatuses, I found the grip very useful!

iTac2 Level 2 (regular strength) Pole Grip Review
Close-up of the iTac2 to show the texture. This stuff is extremely thick and very hard to scrape out.

As for why this little tube has lasted for 5 years? Well, I keep pushing myself to train without grip since it’ll only make me stronger. That, and also it didn’t work that well on my first pole. After switching to a chrome pole, I continued training without any grip just because I’m too lazy to clean it up after.

What pole grips have you used and would highly recommend?

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The iTac2 was purchased by the reviewer and this is not a sponsored review.

B Yoga Everyday Mat Review | Product reviews

B Yoga Everyday B Mat Review

 

If I asked you to take a guess at how many yoga mats I owned, how many would you have guessed?

Would it surprise you that I only had ONE for the longest time? The other day, I was briefly telling my friend how I’m tempted to buy a new yoga mat since my old one is starting to fall apart. She laughed and asked how many I needed. In response to my confused look, she said “Wait, I thought you had at least 10!” Well, she soon learned I was very faithful and that I am still using my very first Yoga Rat mat for the past 7 years 🙂

 

B Yoga Everyday B Mat Review
Downward dog on a purple everyday B Mat

 

Since starting my own business, I’ve become more aware about supporting local businesses. When I was looking for a new yoga mat, I wanted to support Canadian brands! I found brands like JadeYoga, Dusky Leaf Yoga and B Yoga. I decided to go with B Yoga because of their beautiful products and felt a sense of attachment when I found out their head office was just a few minutes away from my home. Currently, all the B Yoga mats are manufactured in Spain and they have plans to bring production to Canada in the next year!

 

B Yoga

The founder, Andrea, is part of a family business that manufactured carpet pads for generations (read their company story here). Soon she realized the material was perfect for yoga mats and founded the company B Yoga in February 2014. I personally think the story is quite inspirational on how to think outside the box! Although I didn’t know the company, I felt I wanted to support them especially since they’re also local.

 

Sunrise Red and Deep Purple Everyday B Mat from B Yoga

 

 

I reached out to their team regarding possible discounts in exchange for a honest review blog post. Their customer service agent Arin was superb! She’s so friendly and responsive and helped me set up my account within a few minutes. I ordered two B Yoga Everyday mats in deep purple and sunrise red. Free shipping took approximately 3 days to receive.

B Yoga Everyday Mat Review

I will discuss the following criteria in descending order of importance to me.

Weight

The Everyday B Mat weighed 1.8kg, which was not the lightest mat but also not the heaviest. Marketed as the ‘everyday’ mat, it’s ideal for bring to commute with your on public transit or walking to your favourite yoga studio. For those looking to travel often with the mat, there is a Traveller version (1.2kg); or a Strong version (2.4kg) for those that plan to leave it at home.

B Yoga Everyday B Mat Review
Label for the Everyday B Mat

Thickness

The Everyday B Mat was 4mm, which is the thinnest yoga mat I’ve used so far. Given the weight, I was worried the mat would not give as much support. Compared to the spongy waffle construction of the Yoga Rat Rat Mat, the B Mat was much firmer and felt very stable for balancing poses and warriors. The density in the B Mat and the Lululemon The Mat was very similar and felt hard on the knees for certain poses. Given the Lululemon mat was thicker, the B Mat offered me the same level of support.

B Yoga Everyday B Mat Review
Everyday B Mat is 4mm thick

Grip

The grippiness of the B Mat was what made me instantly fall in love with the mat. The texture of the mat was beautiful. Since the surface of the mat was not smooth, it provided lots of micro surface area for your skin to grip the mat. My downward dogs felt SOLID. In fact, the mat was so grippy compared to my other two mats that I was not used to it. Your fingers toes will not glide smoothly through transitions on the surface of the mat so you will need to make minor adjustments to lift your fingers and toes completely off the mat. I also found out the (painfully) hard way that my hair sticks to the mat when I was trying to get into the wheel pose, so be careful!

Unlike the Lululemon The Mat which has two different surfaces, the B Mat is the same on both sides. Since I love the B Mat finish, I found this was a positive since I would be able to use the other side once one of the sides begin to wear out.

B Yoga Everyday B Mat Review
Use & Care printed on the inside of the label

Cleaning

As indicated on the website, the mat initially is a dust-magnet but gets better with use. I found my mat did attract some dust and clear handprints and footprints decorated my mat. Due to the texture of the mat, it’s not possible to wipe those marks away with bare hands or a dry cloth. Instead, I wet a towel with warm water, wrung it out and wiped the surface of the mat. I allowed the mat the dry and it looked just as good as new and just as grippy!

B Yoga Everyday B Mat Review
Downward dogs feel solid! No more slipping and readjusting. <3

Material and Scent

The B Mats are made with 100% rubber, a mixture of natural and synthetic rubber. As such, there was a distinct rubber scent when I first unrolled the mat. I’m not sure if I was very biased to love this mat but the scent did not feel as strong and overwhelming as the Lululemon Mat. In fact, the rubber scent had a hint of sweetness in it. However, the scent did disspiate after leaving it unrolled for a few days. The B Mats also came with care instructions printed on the inside of the packaging label.

Dimensions

The length and width of the B Mats were the standard 180 cm by 66 cm. There are options to select a longer version 216 cm with the same width. For someone that is around 160cm, the regular length was the perfect size – I was able to practice my splits without falling onto the floor. This mat is the same size as the Lululemon, but longer and wider than the Yoga Rat mat.

B Yoga Everyday B Mat Review
Absolutely love the texture of the mat. So happy that it comes in my favourite shade of purple!

Price

The price for the B Yoga Everyday mat was pretty pricey. The retail price for the mat is $78CAD+ tax, and free shipping is available through the official website here. The mat was more expensive than the Lululemon The Mat, and the Yoga Rat RatMat. However, I think it is a fair price to pay since it’s a relatively lightweight mat that provides lots of grip!

Conclusion

 

B Yoga Everyday Lululemon The Mat Yoga Rat RatMat
Weight 1.80 kg 2.38 kg 1.40 kg
Thickness 4 mm 5 mm 6 mm
Grip Best Average Average
Material High density cushion and rubber Durable polyurethane with antimicrobial additive Durable and springy, eco-friendly foam construction
Scent Slight rubber scent Strong rubber scent No scent
Dimensions 180 cm x 66 cm 180 cm x 66 cm 173 cm x 61 cm
Price $78 $68 $20
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The B Yoga Everyday mats were purchased at a discount from B Yoga for this review.

Did I Get a Fake X-Pole? | Product Review

or… is it just an older version?

If you’re not a pole dancer, you’re probably laughing and wondering why there are ‘real’ or ‘fake’ poles and whether we’re crazy looking for ‘brand name’ ones. To explain this briefly, a dance pole is the biggest investment for a pole dancer. Cheaper/fake ones cut cost on material, designs and safety features that may break, fall on us, or ruin our property (i.e. windows, glass tables, walls, floors, ceilings). Even the cheapest X-Pole costs upward of $300 so it’s quite an investment and not a disposable prop you purchase at novelty shops.

As an X-Pole retailer, I get a lot of questions asking me how to tell if a pole is genuine or fake. Sometimes I’ll get people sending me pictures of an older X-Pole they bought second-hand and worry whether it was fake. I thought this might be a good opportunity to write a comparison post outlining the difference between the older (2010-2013, XX) X-Pole (read full review here) with the newer (2014-current, NX) X-Pole. With so many pictures and reviews of the newer model, this post will be helpful to highlight the changes and ensure you still have a genuine, but just previously loved X-Pole 🙂

What’s new with the post-2014 XPert?

Unboxing the 45mm Chrome XPert

1. Packaging

At first glance in the unboxing photos, there isn’t too much of a change. I was a little disheartened to see the pole did not come in extra cardboard tubes in like previous model. I used to use the tubes to as extra protection inside the carrying case (see here). Inside, the pole were wrapped in cellophane and fit snuggly into a molded cardboard box. Both newer and older packaging adequately protected the pole during shipping and handling.

Updated adjuster cover on XPert XPole

2. No more adjuster cover

In my opinion, this is the best change in the newer poles! One thing I hated about the older model was how finicky the adjuster cover was. For those that are not familiar with it, you can read about it here under the section Problems, or see the picture here. Sometimes the adjuster cover does not tighten and would require you to readjust (maybe -that- is why they call it the ‘adjuster’ cover haha!) the pole. This only happens occasionally but can be very frustrating when it does.

In the new version, the adjuster cover is no longer a moving part but part of Pole A (bottom pole). On the very bottom portion of the pole, there is a red line, and a small nick on the adjuster cover where you would align with the red line. This ensures the three adjuster screws align with the flat portion of the pole. I really think this upgrade is genius!

Laser-etched X-Pole logo on all poles parts and extensions

3. ‘X-Pole’ logo etched on individual pieces

As the leading manufacturer for dance poles, there are unfortunately many counterfeits claiming to be genuine X-Poles. In the newer models, X-Pole has etched their logo on each of the pole pieces (Pole A, Pole B, and extensions). The logo only appears at the top of the pole which provides an indication of which direction the pole should be (although it doesn’t really matter). The etching is fairly faint and not noticeable from afar. In fact, it took very many tries to get a successful, yet blurry photo of the logo. For those that are concern the etching might scratch or catch skin/clothing, rest assure you don’t actually feel the etching when you’re on the pole!
X-Joints and instructions to expand or contract

4. Larger holes for X-Joint

The old X-Poles were notorious for pieces getting stuck together by their X-Joints, with people complaining they aren’t able to disassemble the parts. Luckily, I’ve never had that problem with both my older X-Pole and newer X-Pole. However, to address this problem, X-Pole seem to have made larger holes for the X-Joints and the pole pieces. The Allen key included is the same size as the older model, but now has an additional rubber coating to provide more grip. While I’m not sure how the larger holes will help, X-Pole claims it’s easier to take the pole apart. I personally thought the pole looked nicer with smaller holes.
Tool kit with 2 Allen keys and spare parts!

5. Spare part bonus

As a nice added bonus, X-Pole included 3 extra adjuster screws and 2 extra spin/static screws. It’s a nice little bonus since it would probably be quite difficult to find the right ones in case you lose them.

6. Snug carrying case with diagram

When I was unboxing, I didn’t notice any changes with the carrying case since I was way too excited about the pole itself! From the outside, it looked like the old black carrying case (picture here). I admit it was not the highlight of the pole, so I stashed it away. But when I finally opened up the carrying case a few weeks later, I was surprised they updated the design… I think I LOVE it! The previous one, seen here, had filmsy velcro straps that could easily scratch the pole so I kept the original cardboard tube packaging for extra cushion. In contrast this new case has beautiful sewn in compartments for each pole part, secured by a wide velcro strap and the bigger flap just in case.

The previous carrying case was very modular so sometimes I forget which piece should be stored where. The little legend printed on the inside of the case tells you exactly where each piece should go. And they fit perfectly in it! I rarely need to use the carrying case since I don’t need to carry it around often but at least now I feel they’re super well protected.

Installation Video

I always love watching people’s jaw drop when I say I didn’t hire anyone to install my pole, or I didn’t need to drill holes in my floor and ceiling, or… I installed it in less than 10 minutes alone! To show it really doesn’t take much time or effort, I didn’t speed up the video and it took less than 6 minutes in total. So let’s start off with an installation video.

 

 

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Was there anything I missed? Were these changes revolutionary enough to make you upgrade your X-Pole?

Check Out My New Home Pole Studio!

It’s been two months since my last blog post and it’s difficult to get back on schedule after such a long break. There have been some major changes in my life and I thought I’ll share them with you!

First update: I moved! The new place has a 9ft ceiling (compared to the 8ft before) so I’m very excited to try out some new combos with the extra height. There is also a nice floor to ceiling window that allows plenty of light if I want to film during the day. The floor is an oak engineered-hardwood floor so this really brightens up the place and looks so clean on video.

Home pole studio



Second news: I replaced my 45mm titanium gold X-Pert pole with the 45mm chrome X-Pert pole. Nothing wrong with the older model, in fact I loved it (click here to read my review). Reason I changed it is because I eventually do want to try out for competitions and the 45mm chrome is the competition standard so I thought I should start practicing on this new finish. The chrome compared to the titanium gold is a lot sleeker and took some time to get used to the more slippery finish.

Home pole studio

Third upgrade: You’ll notice the pictures in this blog post are SUPER wide angle! I kinda love it since I used to use the Canon T3i with a Canon EF-S 10-18mm F/4.5-5.6 IS STM, or a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 with the 14-42mm lens. Both were great camera but neither were ideal. I decided to do a huge splurge and got the Go Pro HERO 4 Black Edition. It’s a great little camera and camcorder for hiking and it seems to work well for my pole videos. The wide angle is great since I don’t have to push the camera as far into a wall as possible to capture the whole pole. The downside is there is a lot of warping, but hopefully I find a angle that’s acceptable 😀

Home pole studio

Final update: I officially started teaching a few months ago and I absolutely love it! The students are so enthusiastic and wonderful learners. I’m probably as excited, if not more excited than them when they’re finally able to get a move. While I don’t think I’ll create videos for beginner tutorials (there are many very good ones on YouTube already!), I will possibly create blog posts with tips to help get these moves!

Thank you everyone for your support! I hope you love these changes as much as I do!